I tend not to be someone who looks back on the good times so much. In fact I usually spend the end of every year feeling unnecessarily sorry for myself and hoping things will inexplicably improve in the hazy future. However this year has been one to reminisce on, both in travel and in life! My favourite travel moments of 2015 were:

Views of Innsbruck from the Nordkette, from my hostel and in the old town

1. Innsbruck, Austria is a small city settled in an Alpine valley. The feeling of mountains so close… There is something indescribable about waking up and seeing a mountain range outside my bedroom window!



Part of Botticelli’s Birth of Venus at the Uffizi Gallery, Florence

2. Florence, Italy is a totally charming city. For me seeing Botticelli’s Venus in person really was everything I had expected and hoped for i.e. cathartic…



Hogsmeade village, Universal Orlando, Florida
Honeydukes Sweets in Hogsmeade, Universal Orlando, Florida

3. I’ve been a fan for a long time, though not quite an obsessive. Yet seeing Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley at Universal Orlando Resort in Florida was incredible. The attention to detail is amazing!



Ash performing at Indiependence Festival, Mitchelstown, Co Cork

4. Indiependence is a boutique festival in Cork, Ireland. I didn’t have to go very far from home for this amazing experience! The first time seeing my favourite band, Ash, and discovering a few new gems too.




Cyclist at Le Tour de France time trial in Utrecht

5. I’ve long been passionate about cycling and Le Tour de France in particular. This year I saw the first stage and my first time trial in Utrecht, The Netherlands. It was a gorgeous day and the buzz and excitement around the place was something else! There was even a music festival on to celebrate the occasion, a parade through the streets the night before as well as art installations with a cycling theme!



There was so much more that I have to be grateful for this year – I managed a road-trip to Ennis and Galway, had great adventures on Ischia off the coast of Italy and visited the ancient ruins of Pompeii. I got to discover Brussels and Bruges with my Mom, experienced the trendiness of Rotterdam and the history of Vermeer in Delft. I ate currywurst in Munich, sauerkraut in Innsbruck and schnitzel in Salzburg. I loved sunrise on South Beach as the city of Miami was coming to life, sunset on Long Key, snorkelling, swimming in the Gulf of Mexico at St Pete beach and art and brunch in Orlando.

Of course not everything went to plan… I was all but stranded in Islamorada, unable to work out the bus schedule and having to resort to taking a taxi 20 miles; I got fat from too much pasta and gelato in Italy; I was rained on in Rotterdam, repeatedly; I missed someone to share Miami sunrises with and I repeatedly cursed the buses in Orlando for taking forever to go anywhere…

Regardless, 2015 has been a good year and I’m crossing my fingers for loads more travel opportunities in 2016!